Things I Have Learnt On My IF Journey (Boo Newns)

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Things I have learnt on my IF journey (Please add yours in the comments below):

1. You can fast for 24 hours and it will be fine. You can even work. You can even exercise. You will not pass out or collapse. The hunger won’t kill you.

2. If you wake up at 6 am and fast until 7.45pm, but have a hot bath at 7.30pm, you may well black out. Don’t do it, it would be silly.

3. When you have fasted for 23.5hrs, the last 30 minutes will not make any difference. But you will be superstitious and think it does, so will hold out until that last minute.

4. Similarly 500 cals post-fast is not a magic number. You can lose weight if you eat 550 or even 650 cals post fast. Just a tiny tiny bit slower than if you only had 500.

5. But you may sleep better if you have slightly more, slightly later in the day.

6. And if you don’t count those calories at all after a fast you need to be very strict with yourself not to eat everything in sight.

7. You may be irritable when you start fasting, but as the months go on, the irritability seems to be less, or it is easier to contain.

8. The hunger comes in waves. But the waves don’t seem to lessen with time. You just have to ride them.

9. If you ride those waves and have had a long day of fasting (ie up a 6am) you are likely to feel seasick by the end of the fast. It is not nice. It will go when you eat.

10. Just as some fast days are easier than others, some feed days are easier than others. Sometimes you have a “core” hunger and just can’t seem to eat enough. This too will pass.

11. Sometimes you won’t feel like fasting. Try it anyway, and if it really feels wrong it may not be the right day to fast (ie you are ill or coming down with something, or you haven’t had enough sleep or are really stressed). Fine, fast another day. Or you may try it and find that actually it is not as bad as you expected.

12. Lifting weights when fasting feels great, staves off hunger, and your muscles seem to really respond to it.

13. Food does not have emotions, it is not sentient. You therefore do not have a relationship with it. You have emotions about it, but ultimately you are in control. If you choose to eat an entire bar of chocolate, you are also choosing to feel bloated, sick and guilty afterwards. That is fine – but YOU made the choice. You could have chosen 1 or 2 squares of very dark chocolate eaten slowly and not to feel sick. But you didn’t make that choice, and that is OK. Sometimes we don’t make “healthy” choices. But part of your decision includes the knowledge of how it will make you feel and you have to take responsibility for that.

14. Food is not “good” or “bad”. It is what it is. Some have more calories, some make you feel fuller, and some make you feel like there is a party going on in your mouth (sadly, these are often not the ones lower in calories, and they often do not make you feel fuller!). It is about balancing these foods, knowing what you can live without having in the house (because you will want to party with it All.Day.Long) and need to save for a specific occasion, and those which you need to have every day, ‘cos everyone deserves a little party every day, don’t they?

15. Calories in. At the end of the day that is all that matters. You decide to eat a burger and fries for lunch? Fine, accept how it will make you feel before you eat it, and accept you will need a lighter meal tonight, or tomorrow, to compensate for the extra calories. It is all in your control.

16. As far as weight loss goes, IF is just another way of reducing those calories in. It is not magic. Apart from the IGF-1 and all that stuff. That is pretty magic.

17. Eat less protein.

18. Men seem to do better on IF than women. They also get to have thick long eyelashes. Life is sometimes sexist like that.

Thankyou to Boo (@DrBoo), who is a regular contributor on the Facebook Group, for this great post!

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4 responses to “Things I Have Learnt On My IF Journey (Boo Newns)

  1. Great post Boo and some really valid observations there which I’m sure all of us who do it have noticed and most definitely relate to. It is truly great to know other ‘considered-by-the-majority-as-verging-on-insane’ folk out there who have adopted it as a sensible – and at the end of the day – moderate, lifestyle. I’m now 30 24hr fasts in, on 2 a week – started close to end-Sept – and feeling really great on it. Life-changingly great on it !! To the extent that the weight-loss side of it has become really a whole lot less important. I’m happy ! And happy with my shape and fitness. I lost a stone and a half relatively quickly and then stalled and have been like that for quite a while now but then if my weight now is the weight I’m meant to be on consuming what I consume then fine, I’m happy with that. I don’t want to get obsessed about losing weight for the hell of it. I’m happy where I am but if there’s more to go then so be it. I like the discipline necessary and the enforced moderation.

    The only thing I would add to on one of the comments from your fab post is that the 500 cals is irrelevant if you’re doing a full 24hr fast. Before or after. Just eat ‘normally’ either side.

    Keep going Boo. It seems like you’re as evangelical about it as I am. And loads of others too I’m sure…

    Happy New Year !

    • Thanks for that, could I just point out though that the 5/600 calories (or whatever reduction they want) are necessary for someone that is trying to lose weight rather than maintain because if they are eating maintenance on their Feed days, it is the calorie reduction on the fast days that creates their weekly deficit and helps shift the weight.
      Sure, when they don’t want to lose any more weight, they can carry on fasting for the health benefits but increase their fast day calories to help slow or stop the weight loss.
      *this approach only applies for those doing abstinent fasts.

  2. I really enjoy your blog, Mark. After having watched Dr Mosley’s Horizon programme I then found and read it and it was definitely a contributing factor in my decision to try IF – thank you. What a great idea to have guest bloggers as well! Boo’s list was useful and encouraging for those of us who are embracing the IF lifestyle all over the world.

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